JOURNAL ARTICLE

Association between leucocyte telomere length and cardiovascular disease in a large general population in the United States

Cheng Xu, Zhiqi Wang, Xiaoqi Su, Min Da, Zhaocong Yang, Weiwei Duan, Xuming Mo
Scientific Reports 2020 January 9, 10 (1): 80
31919463
Leucocyte telomere length (LTL) has been reported to be linked to ageing, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study aimed to explore the association between LTL and CVD risk in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Complex associations, including nonlinearity and interaction, were also examined. A total of 7,378 subjects from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002 were collected. Telomere length was detected from DNA samples and expressed as the mean T/S ratio (telomere repeats per single-copy gene). We performed multiple logistic regression models and interactive analysis to explore the associations between LTL and CVD risk by adjusting for potential confounders. We also performed a sensitivity analysis to investigate the robustness of our results. Among all participants, LTL was associated with the risk of CVD (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.63~0.98, P = 0.033) in a linear manner rather than in a nonlinear manner (P = 0.874). Interaction effects of LTL with both education (P = 0.017) and hypertension (P = 0.007) were observed. Furthermore, using subgroup analyses, protective effects of LTL on CVD risk were found in females and in individuals who were college graduates or above, had serum cotinine >10 ng/ml, did not have hypertension, or had normal white blood cell levels. LTL is linearly inversely associated with CVD risk in the general population of the United States.

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